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The United States Geological Survey has successfully tested specially constructed shallow-reflection seismic instruments in two areas in Oklahoma and Kansas. These instruments have high-frequency response, high oscillograph-paper speeds, fast-acting automatic gain control, and variable presuppression control. In principle they are straightforward modifications of conventional seismic reflection equipment.
In Osage County, Oklahoma, the Neva limestone of Permian age has been mapped at a depth of about 200 feet. In Rice County, Kansas, the Stone Corral dolomite of Permian age has been mapped at depths of 100 to slightly more than 200 feet. In the Kansas test area the base of the overburden and reflecting horizons within the overburden have been detected in some places.
The shallow-reflection seismic method can be applied to detailed mapping in the depth range of 50-1,000 feet, and may be extended to 4,000 feet or more if desired. The shallower depths are beyond the range of conventional seismic reflection equipment. A wide variety of shallow structural and depth-to-bedrock problems may be solved by this new method.
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